The 2012 Cincinnati Football Team Has a Scheduling Problem and I’m Here Provide Some Solutions

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The Cincinnati’s Bearcats 2012 football schedule is still a work-in-progress. In recent years, this would have been finalized months or even years ahead of time but because conference realignment inserted its grubby little fingers into the process, UC’s schedule is now out of whack. In case you missed it, I spoke at length about the circumstances putting Cincinnati in such a predicament. In short, with TCU expected to join the Big East, UC moved the game against Ohio State out to a later date. At the same time, San Diego State dropped the 2012 matchup with Cincinnati for the University of Washington. When the Horned Frogs switched their affiliation to the Big XII, the Bearcats were stuck with a 12-game schedule filled with only 9-total teams; the seven standard Big East games along with Virginia Tech and Miami (Oh).

In a desperation mode, new athletic director Whit Babcock called Toledo and added them to the 2012 schedule. That took care of spot #10 but there was still more work to be done. In all likelihood spot #11 will be occupied by an FCS school (Southeast Missouri State, Indiana State, etc.) but that twelfth and final spot is still up for grabs. So who’s it going to be? Ideally Cincinnati wouldn’t schedule a second FCS school. At that point the Bearcats would have to win 7 total games (assuming they beat both FCS schools) to become bowl eligible instead of the usual 6. According to NCAA rules, FBS schools can only count ONE win against FCS schools toward their ‘bowl’ resume.

2/8/12 Update: FCS program Delaware State will be Cincinnati’s 11th opponent.

On the other hand, there are still a load of FBS schools just itching to add another team to their own 2012 schedule. Thankfully, Matt Sarznyiak did most of the legwork for me. I’ll reproduce it after the jump but you can see a list of available schools here.

  • Arkansas
  • Florida State
  • Hawaii – Special 13th game
  • Houston
  • Middle Tennessee State
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma State
  • Texas A&M
  • UAB
  • Louisiana-Lafayette
  • UTEP

First of all, I have give a hat-tip to Matt who runs a really interesting blog and you should really spend some time exploring it when you have a chance. Secondly, I have recognize Tim Kearney who sent me the link to this list. He’s a solid contributor to FBS Schedules.com and you can see the upcoming schedules for Cincinnati here. Anyways, let’s take a look at the potential candidates:

In The Perfect World Where Money Grew On Trees And Rainbows Actually Spew Chewy Candy

  • Florida State
  • Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma State
  • Texas A&M
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana-Lafayette

It would be amazing to add Florida State (flashback to the Metro, anyone?), Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, or Texas A&M to the 2012 schedule. I’d be ecstatic if Whit was able to convince any of these schools to play the Bearcats IN Cincy and with his connections to the Big 12 any of the final three might happen. But probably not. I would actually highly doubt that UC would be able to add any of those four this upcoming season. I’d like to add another home-and-home with Hawaii even if the game was on at 1:30 in the morning.  Finally, placing ULL on Cincinnati’s schedule would allow me to do what I love, which is screaming the words “Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin’ Cajuns!!!” But like the previous five, this has like a < 5% chance of happening.

Probably Way More Realistic

  • Houston
  • Missouri
  • Middle Tennessee State

These three teams make the most sense. Houston is joining the Big East in 2013 and UC might be able to swing a quick trip from the Cougs to Cincy considering the two will face each other again in regular play a year later. It would also be a nice way for both schools to become reacquainted with one another. Missouri was Whit Babcock’s last employer before coming to Cincinnati and he has a ton of pull over there. It’s not unfeasible to think he could swing some kind of series between the Bearcats and Tigers. Finally, Middle Tennessee State is not that far of a drive from Cincinnati and with the way Coach Jones and his staff are creating inroads into the Tennessee recruiting grounds, they might like to hit up the rest of the state as well.

Please, For The Love Of All That Is Holy And Right, NOOO!!!

  • Arkansas
  • Nebraska
  • North Texas
  • UAB
  • UTEP

The idea here is that I don’t want to play another Bobby Petrino-coached team after the 70 – 7 drubbing I witnessed back in ’04 in front of my own eyes and Nebraska probably wouldn’t settle for anything less than hosting a game versus Cincinnati. With new players all over the Bearcats team, 80,000+ screaming and shaking the stadium isn’t exactly the ideal conditions for them to adjust to playing college ball. North Texas, UAB, and UTEP are all garbage and I’ll puke if I have to see the Bearcats play an away game at any of those schools.

So when you look at it, there are a lot of teams out there for the Bearcats to play this fall. Adding some of the available schools are a pipedream and others I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. Out of the list of 14, only Houston, Missouri, and Middle Tennessee State seem most likely. There is probably only one spot open right now and any of those schools would have me smiling leading up to the start of the 2012 season. It would be gravy if Whit could pull a rabbit out of his hat and sway any of them play the Bearcats in Cincinnati. But before we worry about that, let’s just add another team for the 2012 schedule, shall we?